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Boy Scouts proposing to lift gay ban for youth

  • FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2013 file photo, from left, Joshua Kusterer, 12, Nach Mitschke, 6, and Wyatt Mitschke, 4, salute as they recite the pledge of allegiance during the “Save Our Scouts” prayer vigil and rally against allowing gays in the organization in front of the Boy Scouts of America National Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Under pressure over its long-standing ban on gays, the BSA announced Friday, April 19, 2013, that it will submit a proposal to its National Council to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders. (AP Photo/Richard Rodriguez, File)

NEW YORK — Searching for compromise on a divisive issue, the Boy Scouts of America is proposing to partially lift its long-standing exclusion of gays — allowing them as youth members but continuing to bar them as adult leaders.

The proposal, unveiled Friday after weeks of private leadership deliberations, will be submitted to the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council during the week of May 20 at a meeting in Texas.

The key part of the resolution says no youth may be denied membership in the Scouts "on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone." A ban would continue on leadership roles for adults who are openly gay or lesbian.

Gay-rights groups, which had demanded a complete lifting of the ban, criticized the proposal as inadequate.

"Until every parent and young person have the same opportunity to serve, the Boy Scouts will continue to see a decline in both membership and donations," said Rich Ferraro, a spokesman for the gay-rights watchdog group GLAAD.


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